DEAR HELOISE: Everyone should have a will and their obituary done before anything happens to them. List your financial information, hospital records if you have them, all insurance policies and even a list of people to contact when you die.

You might consider writing a letter to a number of people, which is to be mailed or handed out only after you’ve died. Place the letter and any accompanying photos in an envelope, seal it and write their name on the front. If you do write a letter to someone, make it personal and kind.

Don’t wait until the last moment to do this sort of thing, because you might not be able to write or make your wishes known. I am paying for my own funeral as well as picking out the songs I want played for my church mass.

I may be old, but I’m not ready to go just yet. I hope to see more great-grandchildren enter this world someday.

— A Reader, Youngstown, Ohio

DEAR READER: You’re right. Not just elderly people, but anyone 21 and older should have their will made out. It will make things so much easier for your friends and family to know what you want and who gets your possessions.

However, never put in your will how you wish to be buried or cremated. Tell people before you die because a will is read after your death and burial.

DEAR READERS: Speaking of wills, everyone needs a “living will.” This is a will, usually drawn up by your attorney and signed by you, stating what measures are to be taken if you cannot speak for yourself. Should EMS, for example, do everything possible to revive you? Or would you rather that they make no effort to save you and just let you pass from this Earth in peace?

You can place a copy of your living will on the side or front of your refrigerator. You could also leave a copy with the person who will be handling your estate when you’re gone.

DEAR HELOISE: After opening a new bag of potpourri, I was searching for an attractive bowl for the new bag. There was a lovely bowl, which had been in the china cabinet with potpourri, that had lost its scent long ago. Instead of throwing it away, I thought of spraying it with an air freshener. I sprayed the inside of the bag, then placed the old potpourri inside and shook it gently. I now had a new supply of potpourri.

— Ann H., Niles, Ohio

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio,Texas 78279-5000; fax to

(210) 435-6473; or email

[email protected]

Upcoming Events